This thread is the direct result of the direction the discussion of Mark Driscoll took regarding his attempted "invasion" of the Strange Fire conference. Criticism arose in the thread of Driscoll's opposition to women in the pastorate and among the deacons of a church. I am not a Driscoll fan, as he is far too well aligned with the charismatic movement for my comfort, but I have to say that his take on women in those capacities is biblical. I note that there are rather active member of the board who took issue with that on the previously mentioned thread, and I wanted to ask them to defend their support for women in the leadership roles of the church. Let me start by laying out my own defense of keeping them from the pulpit and from church leadership boards. The view that the apostle Paul did not believe women should fill those roles comes from his first letter to the pastor at the church of Ephesus, his protégé Timothy. 1 Timothy 2, NASB 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. This is doctrinal statement, not the culturally based opinion so many want it to be. Context is everything in establishing the credentials for a verse to prove doctrine, and we easily find one in 2 Timothy. Let's look at the purpose of Paul's letter, to establish the authority for that statement. It is found one chapter after this statement. 1 Timothy 14 I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; 15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. 16 By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory. [Emphasis added] The issue of authority that we are looking at here is meant to be in the context of the church. When we find a statement declaring the purpose of the right of the author of an epistle or other work found in the Bible to make a doctrinal statement, we need to cling to it and avoid rejecting it simply because it is something we do not like. To further support the statement that this is doctrinal in nature, we need to assure ourselves that Paul did teach other facets of church conduct for all in the church: Pastors, deacons, and the membership. A look at a brief outline of the epistle assures us that he did so. Introduction (1:1-2) I. Charge concerning sound doctrine (1:3-20) Teaching sound doctrine (1:3-11) Thanksgiving for the lord's grace and mercy (1:12-17) Timothy's responsibility (1:18-20) II. General instructions concerning the church (2:1-3:13) The practice of prayer (2:1-8) Instructions for women (2:9-15) Qualifications for church officers (3:1-13) 1. For bishops (3:1-7) 2. For deacons (3:8-13)III. Advice to Timothy (3:14-4:16) Paul's purpose in writing (3:14-16) Remember the spirit's warning of apostasy (4:1-6) Exercise yourself unto Godliness (4:7-16) IV. Instructions concerning members of the church (5:1-6:19) Maintain proper relationships (5:1-2) Concerning widows (5:3-16) Concerning elders (5:17-25) Concerning servants (6:1-2) Concerning teachers motivated by greed (6:3-10) Concerning the man of God himself (6:11-16) Concerning the rich (6:17-19) Concluding charge to Timothy (6:20-21)Most churches teach consistently that all these other instructions reach forward from 62 AD into the church of today, guiding us in how our conduct is to be, and how we are to choose our leaders. Therefore, it is ludicrous to try to lift that one "offending" phrase out and claim it was only to be considered useful to the Ephesian church in the first century. To clarify further, I don't believe this passage completely bars women from assuming a pastoral position of some sort within the church. It only bars women from holding senior positions, though the passage on deacons clearly bars women from any leadership role on those boards (how can a woman be "the husband of one wife"?) while they may still assume associate pastoral roles under the headship of Christ, through the senior pastor. Thoughts, please.